7 Admirable CEOs & Founders Bringing Innovation, Growth and Empathy to Florida Businesses
By Space Coast Daily // August 30, 2023
In order to make a company great, leadership must be both engaged and engaging, invested in their employees while also giving them the space to learn and make mistakes.
Seeing the potential in a person, celebrating their successes, and working together to solve problems creates an environment that employees never want to leave. When they feel listened to, valued, and important, employees will work harder and be happy to do so, creating a mutually beneficial relationship.
Many established companies and founders of startups are drawn to Florida for a variety of reasons. Not only is it a beautiful place to work and live, with a still-reasonable cost of living, but there are also tax advantages and significant investment capital available. The economy is robust, especially after having welcomed so many transplants following the Covid-19 pandemic, and businesses of all sizes are welcomed in the Sunshine State.
Along with these businesses come their CEOs: leaders of operations, visionaries, and drivers of profitability. A CEO can be responsible for the incredible growth of a company, or of its demise. After all, look at everything Bob Iger did for Disney, only to have Bob Chapek set public opinion of the company back by decades.
With so many companies, and thereby their CEOs, flooding into Florida, it’s hard to compile a list of admirable company leaders worth watching. But that’s exactly what we’ve done. These leaders of industry are bringing creativity, positivity, and sound business sense to some of the most interesting problems being solved in today’s society.
Chase Fopiano, CyberTech Analytics
Based in Fort Lauderdale, CyberTech Analytics is out to solve the cybersecurity problem that every company in America is facing. Although CyberTech Analytics is one of many cybersecurity firms, Founder Chase Fopiano is what helps to set them apart from the crowd. A former police officer, Fopiano brings the lessons he learned on the force with him into information security. Fopiano is deeply passionate about cybersecurity and protecting people from online crimes, and he is constantly furthering his education in order to better serve his clients.
Fabio Cristilli, Infinity Doctors
Co-Founder and CEO Fabio Cristilli started Infinity Doctors in 2019 to revolutionize, streamline, and digitize the health marketplace. Appointments and transactions can be made online, eliminating wait times and travel to and from offices – and perhaps most importantly, saving consumers money. Cristilli is a savvy and experienced entrepreneur, building and scaling businesses for over 20 years. But what really sets him apart is his ability to quickly see a problem, brainstorm solutions, and expertly bring the people around him to agreement. Never one to waste time, he is able to accomplish many things in a short amount of time, all while supporting and respecting his staff.
Dave Fulk, Reputation Rhino
You only have one chance to make a first impression, and in the digital age, that first impression occurs online more often than not. Reputation Rhino is an online reputation repair and management firm that’s taking the reins on what people see online about their clients. CEO Dave Fulk is leading the company into the national spotlight with strategic partnerships and passionate leadership. Fulk puts his employees first, investing in their education and learning about each one; he creates super-teams by paying close attention to everyone’s individual strengths and then giving them the space to take off. Fulk himself is a high-energy creative with a laser-like focus on the big picture and how to get there.
Jason Torres, JASTOR
Jastor Branding is different from other brand development and marketing agencies: it speaks exclusively to Millennials and GenZ. Both generations are notoriously difficult to earn as customers, but Founder Jason Torres has created a formula for success. Working with some of the biggest brands in the world, he helps them to “incorporate compelling narrative arcs and storytelling aspects into their identities” (per his LinkedIn), because a one-off commercial isn’t enough anymore. Conscious, creative, and curious, Torres makes everyone on his team feel appreciated and like an integral part of the team.
Jonathan Rivera, The Podcast Factory
So you’re an expert in your field, and you think you’d like to start a podcast? Easier said than done… unless you decide to work with Jonathan Rivera at The Podcast Factory. Rivera can have you up and running in 30 days. It sounds impossible, but Rivera is a master at marketing and sales, especially in social and new media. Through The Podcast Factory, he will help you design the look and feel of your show, produce each episode, and provide a team of professionals to help you launch, manage, and grow your show. Nothing is out of reach for Rivera, who has an idea and then tirelessly pursues it until it is fully realized and has come to life. He’s also incredibly knowledgeable and trustworthy, which has built him a loyal following and client base.
Doug Mack, Fanatics Commerce
Working as both CEO of Fanatics Commerce and Vice Chairman of Fanatics, Doug Mack is an award-winning leader. His employees have voted him Best CEO, Best CEO for Women, and Best CEO for Diversity because he is focused on much more than company growth – although he’s great at that, too. Under his direction, Fanatics has grown from a niche online retailer of sports paraphernalia, to a global multi-billion dollar enterprise. Now, Mack has access to top talent, which he treats as such, building an admirable culture of respect while staying focused on the end customer’s experience.
Sumit Singh, Chewy
Since 2018, CEO Sumit Singh has helped Chewy grow into a $10 billion company, beloved by customers and employees alike. Chewy has a stellar reputation for customer service, workplace culture, executive leadership, creative marketing, and local initiatives, to name a few. Providing healthcare for pets is a pup-ular eCommerce business to be in, for sure, but eCommerce can be a tough business to be in at all. Thanks to Singh, Chewy has set themselves apart from the crowd by putting customers first always, and empowering their employees (or Chief Customer Care Officers) to do so no matter what it takes. Singh is a master of communication, innovation, and perseverance, all while showing empathy and compassion to everyone he encounters.
Great Leaders Rise to the Top
A great leader is so much more than a degree; great leaders inspire teams, envision and achieve growth, and ultimately, change industries. They solve some of the most pressing problems of the day and create and identify opportunities that others have missed or overlooked. In Florida, the number of great business leaders is only growing, but you can be sure that the leaders included here will be on the list of the best for years to come.